Double Eighteen – A Short Story For Valentine’s Day

It was love at first sight.

Quentin fell in love with Maureen the moment he set eyes on her. She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen and was perfect in every shape and form. The shocked expression on Maureen’s face when he first introduced himself had not in the least put him off.

Quentin could not remember which of his friends it was that had organised the blind date, but he had a lot of thanking to do. He was sure a few pints down the local pub would be a nice way to say how very grateful he was for the introduction to Maureen.

He saw a wonderful future ahead for both Maureen and himself, although the thought of getting married, at this stage, was probably a little bit too ahead of its time. Besides, he hadn’t met Maureen’s parents yet and, whilst his father had taken a shine to Maureen, he wasn’t so sure what his mother thought.

Three months later, as Maureen sat on the only chair in Quentin’s bedroom, Quentin couldn’t take his eye off her as he got ready for their night out. He had promised her a spectacular evening and pretended he could read her mind as he looked into her big blue eyes.

Going down to The Legend of Oily Johnny’s pub was probably not Maureen’s idea of a spectacular night out, thought Quentin. She’d, in all probability, rather spend an evening in with him. However, considering how well he’d looked after her since they had first met, she wouldn’t want to spoil his fun down the pub, would she? After all, the rest of his friends would be there and even if some of their so-called female friends only ever seemed to laugh at her, Quentin always made sure he looked after her and told her that he loved her at the end of every night.

He knew, too, that she’d even had to refuse several advances and a little bit too much attention from his best friend, Duncan Donuts, but Quentin knew that Maureen only had eyes for him, and nobody else.

“The white one or the blue one?” asked Quentin, as he looked over to Maureen. “Which one looks the best on me?

Holding both shirts to his chest, Quentin paused for a moment. “No need to answer, Maureen. I’ll wear the blue one, so it matches your beautiful eyes. We’re gonna knock ‘em dead tonight. I’m so lucky to have found somebody like you.”

Forty minutes later, Maureen was sat in the bar of The Legend of Oily Johnny. The place was packed out. There had never been so many people crammed into it before, but then there had never been a darts match offering a prize of a Valentine’s romantic weekend for two, in Paris, before. No wonder it was so busy.

Whilst Quentin knew that Maureen didn’t play darts, because he knew she thought it a rather dangerous sport, he knew she was happy to watch him throw the arrows towards the board. Every time the referee, Horace Cope, a man who believed he could foretell the future, shouted out ‘one hundred and eighty’ when he threw the arrows, Quentin knew that he and Maureen were one step nearer to going to Paris. They’d never been to Paris before, although Quentin often talked about going there.

Gladys Boise, a party girl who was a little bit too free and loose for most people’s liking, sat down next to Maureen just as the darts match was coming to its climactic end.

Forcing Maureen to move to an empty chair, Gladys did all she could to try and put Quentin off from scoring double eighteen to win the match and the trip to Paris. She wanted her radio DJ boyfriend, Mike Raffone, who was also a keen karaoke singer, to win the match. Mike only needed to score a double five to win, but here was Quentin, with his final dart, only needing to score a double eighteen.

The bar became strangely quiet as Quentin lined up his dart. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Maureen, who had now stood up and was just to the left of the dartboard.

Maureen was looking so sexy this evening and the thought of what lay ahead after the darts match, when they got home, started to make Quentin’s blood pressure rise. He had to win the trip to Paris, if not for him, then for the woman who had brought him so much pleasure over the last three months.

The shirt Quentin had chosen to wear was the perfect fit, and he felt like a million dollars in it. This was going to be his night. This was going to be Maureen’s night. This was going to be their night.

As the first bead of sweat trickled down his back, Quentin pulled his hand back slightly before flicking it towards the dartboard. However, just before leaving the gentle grip of his two fingers and thumb, Gladys let out an almighty sneeze causing Quentin to lose concentration.

As the whole bar held their breath, Quentin watched in horror as the dart moved in slow motion towards Maureen. The shocked expression on Maureen’s face told the regulars of the pub, that the dart was not going to hit its intended target of the double eighteen slot. Instead, they watched in disbelief as the dart made its way towards the woman who had brought so much pleasure into Quentin’s life.

“Noooooooooo!” shouted Quentin, as the dart made contact with Maureen’s left breast while, at the same time, huge smiles developed across the faces of Gladys Boise and Mike Raffone.

For a few moments, all eyes were on Maureen who had not flinched. You could have heard one of Gladys’ false eyelashes fall to the floor as everyone in the bar held their breath. Then, to the complete shock of some of the customers in the bar, everyone watched as Maureen gave off a slow hissing sound as she slowly doubled up and bent for-ward towards the floor.

Not even the offer of a puncture repair kit from local plumber, Duane Pipes, could now save the romance of Maureen and Quentin. Inflatable girlfriends were expensive to buy.

Two months later, Quentin had forgotten all about Maureen, after meeting his new girlfriend, Helen Highwater, who had seen it all and survived.

They lived happily ever after.


Story taken from the short story collection More Glimpses – Available on Amazon.

#books

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Are the Strangers in Your Dreams Real People or just Figures of your Imagination?

A few week’s ago I kicked off a blog tour for the launch of my new book, More Glimpses. My first stop was at the blog of author, writer, and blogger Debby Kaye, where I was given a terrific welcome.

The guest posts I’ve written for the blog tour all come from some of the characters found in the stories in More Glimpses. Click the link below to meet Jane Collins, who appears in the story The Jump. She asks an interesting question that may have you questioning who appears in your dreams.

Guest Author Hugh Roberts Launching More Glimpses

#MoreGlimpses #books #shortstories

My thanks to Debby for inviting me to use her blog for the tour.

I’ve closed comment here. Please leave any comments over on Debby’s blog.

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

More Glimpses #newbook #booklaunch

Do you believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden? Would you dare steal items from a blind person or send your neighbours on a time-travelling trip full of menace and danger to stop the possibility of a bug wiping out humanity? Would you respond to calls for help from behind a door that is not all it seems, or ignore the warnings not to walk on a beautiful, deserted beach?

Two and a half years after the publication of Glimpses, I’m delighted to announce that my second collection of short stories, More Glimpses, is now available on Amazon.

#MoreGlimpses #Glimpses #books #shortstories #flashfiction #fiction
The second collection of short stories and flash fiction from Hugh W. Roberts

Containing 32 short stories and pieces of flash fiction, many of which have never been published before, More Glimpses takes the reader on a ride full of twists, turns and unexpected endings.

Story lineup.

  1. The Whistle

Genre: Drama

Set in war-torn France in 1918, a soldier reflects on his life while he waits for the sound of the whistle, a sound that not only may signal the oncoming end of his life but reveal a secret the world can never ever find out.

2. Upside-Down and Inside-Out

Genre: Fantasy

Prudence Pebblebottom doesn’t believe her mother has agoraphobia and ends up giving her a heart attack when forcing her to go outside. As the only beneficiary of her mother’s will, Prudence is in for a nasty surprise when her world is literally turned upside-down.

3. Baby Talk

Genre: Comedy

A conversation a seven-month-old baby overhears its mother having with a shop assistant has it screaming the place down. However, there are worthy reasons for the baby wanting to make a quick escape from the store.

4. The Bag Lady

Genre: Science Fiction

On a time travelling mission to the year 1999, three elderly ladies from the year 1961 find themselves in grave danger when pursued by another time traveller. Can they escape and get back to 1961 with the item the other time traveller so desperately wants to get off them?

5. The Tunnel

Genre: Action/Adventure

Filled with hazards and situations that can kill, a life-changing prize awaits all who enter the tunnel, with whoever gets to the prize first having the greater chance of coming out alive. However, be quick to find it as the prize doesn’t wait around for long.

6. Tiny People

Genre: Horror

All over the world, mobile phones have been catching fire. Max Cumberland thinks he has the answer as to why it’s happening. Convincing the mobile phone manufacturers, however, is going to be hard work.

7. Murder in Evershot

Genre: Murder/Mystery

Set in the sleepy, English village of Evershot, John, Toby, Austin, and Hugh find themselves in grave danger when several murders take place. Can they find a well-known detective, who lives in the village, and ask for her help in solving the murders before the murderer finds them? 

8. Floral Hall

Genre: Paranormal

Boarded up and unused for many years, Floral Hall was once a place full of music, love, and laughter. Tim, a young boy out for a walk with his mother and grandmother, thinks he can hear music and laughter coming from the old building. Is Floral Hall about to reveal its secrets?

9. The Right Choice

Genre: Science Fiction

With the choice of facing the killer bees or the old ruins for a one-million-pounds prize, two gameshow contestants have only twenty seconds to make the right choice. Will they make the right one? 

10. Knock, Knock

Genre: Horror

A prankster plays ‘knock, knock’ on the front door of a house. Inside, a ‘home-alone’ young girl, Angela, and her younger sister are terrified when the prankster threatens to kill them. When Angela finally gets the courage to open the door, she discovers it’s not only whoever was knocking at the door that has disappeared.

11. Fast Forward

Genre: Science Fiction

Fascinated by the hidden feature on his new smartwatch, Brad gets the chance to time travel. As he travels forward, he doesn’t like all that he witnesses and decides that it is time to travel back to the present. However, he’s forgotten one vital piece of information. Can he get back safely before it’s too late?

12. The Jump

Genre: Horror

Jane has murder on her mind and gives her husband, who suffers from vertigo, a parachute jump for his 50th birthday. Jumping out of the plane first, she gets a shock when landing on her island paradise where she thinks her lover is waiting for her. What awaits Jane is a nightmare beyond imagination.

13. Big Brother

Genre: Science Fiction

Have you ever wondered why files and photographs suddenly go missing from your computer, tablet or phone? Big Brother has the answer.

14. Tap

Genre: Horror

At a car boot sale, two teenagers do the unthinkable and steal items off the stall belonging to a blind man. What follows will not only change their lives but will haunt them forever.

15. Harvest Festival

Genre: Science Fiction

Harvest festival – a time of celebration and thanks for what has been provided to get us all through the upcoming long, hard winter. It should never be the time of nightmares, should it?

16. The Hole

Genre: Horror

Why do the same two dogs visit the garden of Elizabeth Jones every day and sniff at the same area? Wanting to know the answer, Elizabeth digs a hole at the spot where the dogs sniff. Will she find anything?

17. Easter Bunny Cake

Genre: Horror

For centuries, the Easter Bunny has been trying to find a way to punish naughty humans. Is simply not leaving them a chocolate egg the only answer?

18. Double Eighteen

Genre: Rom-Com

Quentin has a brand-new girlfriend, Maureen, and he’s determined to win them a romantic weekend for two in Paris, at the local pub’s darts competition. On the evening of the match, something terrible happens, giving many of the regulars a shock.

19. The Man In The Television

Genre: Horror

Unaware of what is in the room with them, a family watching a popular Saturday evening television show have no idea what is really happening in front of them. Have you seen the man in the television?

20. Dream Catcher

Genre: Horror

How often are we told to follow our dreams? And what happens if we actually catch one? Does it give our dream a better chance of coming true? One man, who actually caught a dream, reveals all.

21. One-Hundred

Genre: Science-Fiction

If something wanted to kill off most of humanity, what would be the most unlikely weapon it could use? And are you one of the humans it wants to kill?

22. When The Tide Turns

Genre: Horror

On a day out, three young men discover a beautiful, deserted beach. However, despite a warning from an old man not to venture onto the sand, they take no notice, resulting in horrifying consequences for all of them.

23. Honeymoon

Genre: Rom-Com

Having just got married, it’s the night of the honeymoon for Sylvia and Marty. Marty is eager to get things started, but Sylvia has something else on her mind.

24. The Truth About Waiting Rooms

Genre: Horror

Like or loath them, waiting rooms are everywhere, and we all find ourselves in them at some stages of our lives. Next time you find yourself in one, take a closer look at what’s around you. You may be surprised at what you’ll find.

25. The Chair

Genre: Horror

Agatha Burnell’s favourite lumpy chair has been her saviour. But what secrets does it hold?

26. Royal Shopping

Genre: Comedy

A light-hearted look at what happens when the Queen goes shopping, finds a bargain, and doesn’t seem to have the right change in her purse. Will anyone come to her aid?

27. Revenge

Genre: Comedy

There you are, not looking your best, and your ex-partner walks past with their new partner. How would you feel? Would you have revenge on your mind, or would you just laugh about it?

28. The Door

Genre: Paranormal

If somebody was calling for help from the other side of an old, scruffy looking door, would you go to their aid, or would you simply walk away?

29. The Wedding Bouquet

Genre: Drama

As a bride gets ready to throw her wedding bouquet to the eagerly waiting hands of her wedding guests, she asks the photographer to film the event. Will true love find the person who catches her wedding bouquet?

30. Fairies At The Bottom Of The Garden

Genre: Fantasy

Do fairies really exist? Roger Young, a cheating, lying, husband and father, is in for a colourful shock when he visits the greenhouse at the bottom of his garden.

31. Walking Into The Future

Genre: Drama

John Anderson has a dream of being able to walk into the future and finding out what awaits him. After completing the short journey, it’s the journey back to his present that exposes a shocking truth.

32. Where To Now?

Genre: Science-Fiction

On the dying planet of Orion, the frightening events of what happened to all its inhabitants are revealed. Can what happened be stopped, before it spreads to other worlds?

First Review

Hugh Roberts is back with More…Glimpses, that is! This is his second collection of short stories showcasing the dark and somewhat twisted mind of humankind. Roberts’ witty imagination, coupled with his love of stories from The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, crafts 31 more tales of dark humor and hair-raising tales in a variety of genres, some a short read, others a little longer to get your heart racing! In every case, just when you think you’ve got the tale figured out, Roberts drops in a completely unexpected ending that may make you jump, laugh or even ponder your use of technology! The Tunnel, Baby Talk, Floral Hall and The Right Choice were my favorites! – Terri Webster Schrandt

Are you ready for another ride full of twists and the unexpected?

Click here to buy your copy.

Alternatively, contact me to buy a copy.

Also available, Glimpses, my first collection of short stories and flash fiction.

Click here to buy Glimpses.